For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND. 2 Timothy 1:7
On my commute home from work, I always called my Grandmother if I couldn’t see her in person. She gave me a daily dose of wit and wisdom. This day the sun was brilliant, the grass was glazing green, but inside my car, it felt gloomy and gray. During our chat I reported all the issues weighing on me. There were serious, heavy issues that felt like a too-heavy barbell across my crumbling shoulders. Finances, housing, job change, a loved one’s health, marriage, all urgent and needing my time and attention to bring order to what felt chaotic.
What if I lose my job? What happens when? How will I juggle work and meet all these other needs? What if this gets worse? Where do I get her the best care? What if she can’t get well? There was so much to think about, details to work out, precautions to take, and plans to put into motion. My grandmother, patient and tender, was listening intently waiting for an overdue pause between my worries, for her moment to guide me as only she could.
As I rounded the curve toward my house, I paused hoping she would give me solutions. Then she said in the most peaceful yet bold way, “Baby, God did NOT give you a spirit of fear. But He gives you power, power in His name, and He gives you a strong, solid, and sound mind. You are going to get through this and are going to be ok, but you first have to stop living in fear.”
Fear? What are you talking about? I just need answers. I’m not afraid, I’m analytical, planful, action-oriented. As I digested her words, I realized the truth she shared. Underneath the what-ifs crept fear. Fear of not knowing the outcomes, answers. I was tangled in fear and worry that created a web of disorder. My normally clear head felt confused and overwhelmed. When fear is driving, our minds hit overdrive, we can lose sleep then we become weary, angry, and crumbling under weights too heavy for us. Like a virus, unhealthy fear cripples, weakens, and erodes our minds and bodies. Doctors confirm that fear, or anxiety, can be a contributing driver behind many illnesses, panic attacks, heart issues, GI troubles, and headaches.
Friend, we have the cure to eradicate fear. Faith. Faith is the cure for Fear. We just have to choose either Fear or Faith, one or the other. Our action is to choose, because fear and faith cannot coexist. Fear is not from God, and needs to be eradicated. 2 Timothy gives us the remedy. Receive the gift that is from God. Take action, stir up this gift (vs. 6) of faith. Fear weakens but faith gives POWER. Fear bears anger, but faith breeds LOVE. Fear cripples but faith creates a solid sound mind. We can rest after we give our worries to God because He is with us every step even through the disease, chaos, catastrophe. (1 Peter 5:7)
A few days after our fear-curing talk, my grandmother handed me a small white paper with the powerful words of 2 Timothy 1:7. She said to keep it on my dashboard. I did and read it every day. Those shakily written words sat beside the speedometer until the ink faded from time and sun and the paper parched and crumbled. While the written words are now gone, they are forever preserved clearly in my heart. No matter what comes, the power and love of God is in me, and my mind is assured and sound.
The Prescription: Recite 2 Timothy 1:7 as often as needed. Hold fast to this cure direct from the Best Physician, our Father God.
Father God, thank You that I can live in freedom and without fear. I give You my worries. Help me to rest in Your Power, Your Love. Thank You for the sound stable mind You give me. I will walk forward in faith with You. In the Powerful Name of Jesus, Amen.